Once on a sunny day, I was with one of my friends outside. Suddenly, I saw a blackbird and shouted, “Look! It’s a crow!” My friend opposed, “No, it’s not a crow.” He added that some other blackbirds are out there that look like crows. It might be one of them.
So, you may also be wondering which birds look like crows. Crow look-alike birds are common ravens, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles, brown-headed cowbirds, western jackdaws, pied currawongs, western rooks, black-billed magpies, alpine choughs, European starlings, and more.
This page is a supplement to our recently published article on attracting crows to your yard. Once you finish reading here, take a look at the recommended article to learn more about inviting these environment-friendly blackbirds using a few simple techniques.
Now, let’s see the list of crow look-alike birds below.
10 Birds That Look Like Cranes [Read more]
10 Birds That Look Like Pelicans [Read more]
10 Birds That Look Like Loons [Read more]
05 Birds That Look Like Cardinals [Read more]
10 Birds That Look Like Flamingos [Read more]
Birds That Look Similar to American Crows
#01. Common Raven
Common Ravens are usually available throughout northern and western North America, particularly in California, Canada, and Alaska. These birds can also be found in Northern Hemisphere, Mexico, and Scotland. They prefer open and forest areas, including deserts, sea coasts, grasslands, etc.
- Common ravens have shiny, black feathers
- They have a shaggy neck and throat.
- They own a larger, curvier, and sharper bill with a turf of hair atop.
- They have a wedge-shaped tail.
- Their size is almost the same as the size of red-tailed hawks.
The main similarity between a common raven and an American crow is both are entirely black, though common ravens have minor hints of grey and brown in their feathers. They’re also included in the same genus, Corvus (Details info about corvus).
Common ravens are pretty larger than American crows, like red-tailed hawks. They have much larger, curvier, and sharper bills than those of American crows. Their tails are wedge-shaped, but crows’ tails are fan-shaped.
Want to know more differences between crows and ravens? We have a recently published article on this topic (read here). You can check it out for further information.
#02. Red-Winged Blackbird
Red-winged blackbirds are an invasive species found across the United States, Canada, and Central America. These birds usually prefer open grassy areas, including fields, marshes, prairies, and wetlands. They mostly breed in Alaska, Florida, Mexico, and Guatemala.
- Red-winged blackbirds are stocky, broad-shouldered.
- Males have predominantly black plumage, eyes, bill, and feet.
- They have the red spot with a yellow border on the wings
- They have a sharply pointed, conical bill.
- Their tails are rounded and medium in length.
Just like American crows, red-winged blackbirds are all black, except for the red wings. In terms of body size, both American crows and red-winged blackbirds are almost the same. In addition, red-winged blackbirds have crow-like conical bills.
The key difference between a red-winged blackbird and an American crow is the appearance. Red-winged blackbirds have red wings with a yellow border that you cannot see in American crows. Although both birds have conical bills, the bills of red-winged blackbirds are smaller.
#03. Common Grackle
Common grackles are native birds in North America, especially in the United States (almost all states east of the Rocky Mountains). However, you may not find them in Washington State, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Alaska. They prefer open and semi-open areas, such as agricultural fields, city parks, and suburban lawns.
- Common grackles have purple iridescence on the head.
- They have glossy plumage with purple and bronze highlights.
- The tails are nearly half of their length.
- The eyes are pale yellow.
- The bill is long and sharply pointed.
Common grackles share the same family as American crows. These birds look all black like crows from afar. Besides, their bills, legs, and tails are actually black. The bills are sharply pointed like the bills of American crows.
Although common grackles and American crows look similar from afar, they’re quite different on closer inspection. Common grackles are dark blue-black, while American crows are all black. Unlike American crows, common grackles have yellow eyes. These crow-like birds are almost half of American crows.
#04. Brown-Headed Cowbird
Brown-headed cowbirds are native birds in North America, permanently living in the southern parts of the area. These birds head to the southern United States and Mexico during harsh weather. They usually prefer open and semi-open areas, including fields, meadows, forest edges, lawns, and pastures.
- Brown-headed cowbirds have finch-like heads.
- Males have iridescent black bodies with brown heads.
- They have a thick, sharply conical bill.
- They have dark eyes.
- Their tails are shorter compared to their body size.
In terms of body color, brown-headed cowbirds are similar to American crows. Even, they appear all black from afar and in poor light. Besides, the eyes, bills, tails, and legs are black, just like those of American crows.
When it comes to differences, brown-headed cowbirds are smaller than American crows. The most noticeable difference is these birds have brown heads. They also have finch-like, small heads and smaller bills than those of American crows.
#05. Western Jackdaw
Western jackdaws, also known as European jackdaws, Eurasian Jackdaws, or simply jackdaws, are found in northwest Africa and all over Europe, especially in Western Europe. They usually prefer open and semi-open areas, including cultivated lands, coastal cliffs, and pastures.
- Western jackdaws have black, glossy plumage with a purple or blue sheen.
- They have grey-silver cheeks and necks.
- They have distinctive pale-grey eyes.
- The legs are black
- The bills are short, stout.
Western Jackdaws are like the cousins of American crows. Both birds belong to the same genus, Corvus. These birds have black bills and legs similar to American crows. Due to the grey feather, you may confuse them with juvenile hooded crows.
Although western jackdaws are black, they’re grey with a purple or blue sheen on the neck and back of the head. In addition, western jackdaws have shorter bills than those American crows. The eyes of these birds are grey, while the eyes of American crows are black.
#06. Pied Currawong
Pied Currawongs are native to Australia. They’re readily found all over eastern Australia, from Victoria to northern Queensland. They prefer rural and semi-urban environments, including agricultural fields, forests, woodlands, and suburban areas.
- Pied Currawongs have bright yellow eyes.
- They appear like dark charcoal with a purple hue.
- They own large, black bills and dark grey-black legs.
- They have slightly white patches in the tail feathers and wings.
- They have shaggy hair all over the breast and belly.
Pied currawongs resemble American crows in black plumage. If you see them together from afar, you may not differentiate them. Both birds come in almost the same size (pied currawongs and American crows are usually 41 to 51 cm and 40 to 53 cm long, respectively).
The most noticeable difference between a pied currawong and an American crow is that the pied currawong has slightly white patches in the tail feathers and wings. Unlike crow feathers that appear shiny, currawong feathers look like dark charcoal with a purple hue. Besides, pied currawongs have comparatively large bills and tails.
#07. Western Rook
Western rooks are out there throughout Europe, including the Palearctic, Scandinavian countries, Central Europe, Western Europe, and Eastern Siberia. They prefer open areas, such as agricultural fields, pastures, city parks, suburban lawns, etc.
- Western rooks have black plumage with glossy blue or bluish-purple.
- They have pale, straighter bills with a grey bill base.
- They have dense and silky feathers on the head, shoulders, and neck.
- The legs and feet are usually black.
- The eyes are dark brown.
Western rooks belong to the crow family Corvidae. Thanks to the fully feathered faces, juvenile rooks look quite similar to adult American crows. Both western rooks and American crows have black plumage. They also have similar blackish legs and feet.
The main difference is western rooks have shiny feathers with glossy blue or bluish-purple sheen. The bill base is slightly grey, while American crows have an entirely black bill base. In addition, western rooks have longer wings than American crows. Their eyes are dark brown, while the eyes of American crows are black.
#08. Black-Billed Magpie
Black-billed magpies, also known as American magpies, are native birds to the United States. They’re available in western North America, particularly northern parts of Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, and New Mexico. You usually see them in open areas, like pine forests, scrublands, meadows, grasslands, sagebrush plains, and city parks.
- Black-billed magpies are entirely black and white with bluish-green iridescence.
- They have dense plumage all over their body.
- They have a long, diamond-shaped tail.
- They have a heavy bill weakly curved toward the tip.
- They have shorter and rounded wings in flight.
Black-billed magpies belong to the crow family Corvidae. In terms of appearance, black-billed magpies are similar to American crows in the color of bill, head, shoulders, tails, and legs. They have black, rounded eyes like American crows.
The main difference is that the lower part of a black-billed magpie is white. These birds have a long tail, almost half of their body size. Besides, they have bluish-green iridescence in the wing feathers. The bills are shorter than those of American crows.
#09. Alpine Chough
Alpine choughs, also known as yellow-billed choughs, are mainly available on mountains and coastal cliffs throughout Europe, particularly in Spain, southern Europe, the Alps, Crete, and Corsica. They’re also found in North Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia.
- Alpine choughs have glossy black plumage.
- They have a brightly yellow bill.
- They have slightly white spots throughout the breast and belly.
- Their legs are red
- Their tails are fan-shaped.
Alpine choughs belong to the crow family Corvidae. These birds have all black feathers, just like American crows. The feathers throughout the breast and belly are not glossy. Besides, the tails are fan-shaped similar to those of American crows.
The main difference between an alpine chough and an American crow is that the alpine chough has yellow bills and red legs. They have shorter tails and curvier bills than those of American crows. In terms of size, alpine choughs are larger than magpies and jackdaws.
#10. European Starling
Europe starlings, also known as common starlings, live in most of Canada and the United States, particularly in Texas and Florida. These birds prefer open habitats, including forest edges, grasslands, farmlands, and savannahs. They’re also common in lawns, squares, and city parks.
- European starlings have beautiful plumage with purple and green iridescence.
- They have a yellow, slender bill.
- They have pink legs with sharp nails.
- Their wings are short, pointed, and triangular.
- Their tails are short, raven-like.
European Starlings resemble crows in black appearance. These birds have rounded black eyes like American crows. Their bills are pointed, and the nails are sharp.
The most noticeable difference is that European starlings are smaller than American crows. These birds have yellow bills and pink legs, while American crows are all black. Besides, the tails are wedge-shaped, and the bills are smaller.
Now that you know the birds that look like crows, identifying crows and their look-alike birds will be pretty simple for you. Common ravens, western jackdaws, western rooks, and alpine choughs are quite confusing, looking like the same as American crows.
However, other similar birds can easily be differentiated since they have unique features you don’t find in American crows. Remember, common grackles and brown-headed cowbirds are similar to American crows, but they have blue and brown head feathers, respectively.